BBC and Sir Cliff Richard in dispute over legal costs

In the claim brought by Sir Cliff Richard against the BBC over the broadcaster’s coverage of a raid at his home in August 2014, the BBC has said the singer’s accrued legal costs were “grossly unreasonable”.

The BBC’s counsel, Gavin Millar QC, said in a written submission to the High Court the legal costs of more than £500,000 were “on any view ... disproportionate.” If Sir Cliff’s claim succeeds, and he wins damages, the BBC could be ordered to pick up all his lawyers’ bills.

Lawyers representing the singer said in written submissions in October that he had suffered “profound and long-lasting” damage.

In December, a BBC spokeswoman said bosses would defend the coverage. She said the BBC had reported Sir Cliff’s full denial of the allegations at every stage, according to The Guardian.

A spokesman for Sir Cliff said outside court: “Sir Cliff Richard incurred these costs and expenses over more than a two-year period, we say as a direct result of the actions of South Yorkshire police and the BBC. Ultimately, it will be down to a judge to decide whether or not he should recover such costs and expenses in full or in part, or at all.”

The hearing continues.

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